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Sun Belt preseason football poll has Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns winning West Division

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, July 20, 2021

UL football is a runaway favorite to win the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division, according to the league’s 2021 preseason coaches poll.

Nine of 10 Sun Belt coaches picked the Ragin’ Cajuns to win the West, with the other unidentified coach choosing Arkansas State.

UL received 49 voting points. Arkansas State was picked second with 38, followed by South Alabama, Texas State and UL Monroe.

Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State tied for first in Sun Belt East voting with 44 points each, but Coastal received six first-place votes and second-place App State four. Georgia State was picked third in the East, followed by Georgia Southern and Troy.

UL and Coastal Carolina were to have met in last season’s Sun Belt championship game, but it was canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the Chanticleers program.

UL, which opens Sept. 4 at Texas, went 10-1 last season with only an Oct. 14 regular-season loss to Coastal Carolina at Cajun Field.

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All-Sun Belt preseason team

The Cajuns were picked to win the West despite having only four preseason first team selections: offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence, safety Bralen Trahan, punter Rhys Byrns and running back Chris Smith as a return specialist.

Five Cajuns – quarterback Levi Lewis, offensive lineman Max Mitchell, defensive lineman Zi’Yon Hill, inside linebacker Lorenzo McCaskill and cornerback Eric Garror – were named to the second team.

Related:Which Ragin' Cajuns football players could be picked during 2022 NFL Draft

Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall was named first team quarterback and Offensive Player of the Year. Troy linebacker Carlton Martial was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Coaches were permitted to vote for their own team in the poll, but not for their own players on the all-conference team.

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